AT&T Denies Helping Kris Allen Win
But was American Idol voting rigged?
Last week, after watching the finale of American Idol, many disappointed Adam Lambert fans felt the charismatic crooner should have won competition.
It turns out they may have been right.
Allegations surfaced yesterday that AT&T employees in Arkansas unfairly aided Kris Allen fans, helping him secure his Idol win and snatching the singing crown from Adam.
According to the New York Times, representatives from AT&T attended a voting party for Kris in Arkansas, where they provided free texting and instructed fans on how to “power text,” or send 10 texts at once. No similar help was provided to Adam fans. (Or me. Can someone teach me how to power text? Do I have to wear a power suit while I do it? I hope so.)
Even more puzzling is that AT&T is a huge corporate sponsor of Idol, and the only wireless network through which we – the innocent, Lambert-loving public – are allowed to text our votes for the show. The phone company and its representatives – yes, even those down in Arkansas – should have known better.
Especially because at the end of each Idol episode, a fancy legal graphic warns voters that casting “blocks of votes” via text is against the rules, because it can “unfairly influence” contest results.
Both AT&T and FOX have denied that this “isolated” incident had any effect on the voting results. But I think they both have some ‘splainin’ to do.
We asked AT&T for their side of the story and they pointed us to their official statement. Here’s what AT&T had to say:
“In Arkansas, a few local AT&T employees were invited to attend two local watch parties organized by the community. Caught up in the enthusiasm of rooting for their hometown contestant, they brought a small number of demo phones with them and provided texting tutorials to those who were interested.
“Going forward, we will make sure our employees understand our sponsorship celebrates the competition, not individual contestants.”
A representative for FOX also referred BettyConfidential.com to their public statement:
“FOX and the producers of American Idol are absolutely certain that the results of this competition are fair, accurate and verified. Kris Allen is, without a doubt, the American Idol. We have an independent third-party monitoring procedure in place to ensure the integrity of the voting process. In no way did any individuals unfairly influence the outcome of the competition.”
I would like to respectfully disagree with FOX on two points.
Numero uno – having a party where your biggest corporate sponsor unfairly aids one contestant and not another seems like an unfair influence of great magnitude to me.
And numero dos – FOX may claim that Kris Allen is, “without a doubt, the American Idol.” But in our hearts (and in future album sales), we all know that Adam Lambert wears the crown.
Poor Adam. Can someone send him Al Gore’s phone number? They probably have a lot of vote scandal commiserating to do.
What do you think? Was Adam Lambert cheated out of his Idol win?